This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Friday, 22 March 2019

A special little Texas Air and Space Museum

Where are we now?
AOK Camper RV, Amarillo, TX

Over time we have visited several Air and Space Museums and after learning at the Amarillo Visitor’s Center that Amarillo also houses one, basically across from Visitor Center, we thought we go and visit this one also.

Amarillo Visitor Center, I-40, Exit 76

First off, this Museum is different. It is located at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (10001 American Drive) and you are actually going to be walking across a part of the airport’s tarmac or property to see the stored airplanes outside. Some of the indoor displays are sharing space with working airplanes in a hangar. Because of security reasons being at the location where they are building the famous Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor military aircraft, a tour guide who has clearance must accompany every visitor.

Of special interest to me was the NASA Gulfstream II Shuttle Training Aircraft that was flown 49 times by the airport’s namesake Rick Husband, commander of STS-107 Space Shuttle Columbia that on Feb. 1, 2003 disintegrated upon reentry killing all crew members.

In a display case sits a piece of foam, identical to one that had become loose from the insulation liner of the big rocket and had  stuck itself onto the space shuttle during takeoff. At the time it was deemed not to be important or to be concerned about. However it is believed to be the cause of the tragic fate of the space shuttle at the time of reentry into the earth atmosphere with the extensive heat, the foam burned a hole into the shuttle skin causing the explosion.

The cockpit of the Shuttle Training Aircraft

Right side seat of the pilot

Left side seat of the astronaut trainee

Overhead panel to confuse you even more with all the
technic on this airplane

I had to blink twice noticing a Bell Helicopter with two different sides of a paint job on it.  In addition to the Museum’s many vintage memorabilia you might find it interesting to view the many hand made model airplanes on display. Several are large  models, with a wingspan of 8 to 10 feet hanging on the hangar wall, and I do not know one from another, but I could list some from the brochure.

This side shows the military version

I guess they call this side the civic version

Models made by Jack Rude: Nieuport 28, Fokker DR1, Sopwith Camel, Spad XIII, Gee Bee R-1, B-26G Marauder, B-25C Mitchell, B-24 Liberator City of Amarillo, Cessna 170, Piper PA-18 Super Cub, F9C-2 Sparrowhawk and then many more of models and Die-Casts to list them all. This is just a small list for you guys who know their airplanes and have an interest in model building.

Following a random selection of different displays I thought worth a picture.

So should you happen to be in the area and are interested, swing on by for a tour. The Museum is not a large one and entry is free, although a donation is appreciated. 


  1. What a fun museum to tour love the helicopter the two paint jobs.

    1. If you are an airplane enthusiast, there were many interesting things to see, but also for people like me, it was great. The benefit of having a tour guide was that they know of so many interesting tidbits and stories to tell.

  2. Thanks for the info, will definitely visit the museum the next time through there.

    1. For someone like you, Richard, I think you'd have enjoyed especially the many professionally built models they have there.

    2. In response to wow! We’ve stayed at the Travel Centre a few times but it wasn’t suggested to see the museum. It looks very interesting. Love the old airstreams, the tear drop campers and the VW van. My sister and her husband got married in 1972 (I think) and traveled to Europe for a whole year in a 66 or 67 VW van just like it. Well in better shape obviously! They now have a huge 5th wheel like ours so yes, they got the “bug “ early….. literally! Thanks for the tour, Marlene, by Patsy Irene

    3. You should go when in the area again and see those campers. You can go inside into most of them and they are decorated with items of the time. Some look like the owners have just stepped outside and left what they were doing. BTW the museum is free of charge and the RV dealership is world class.

  3. Most interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    1. This one was a bit different and I actually enjoyed it.